The film From Up On Poppy Hill was inspired by a 1980 Japanese comics (Same name) by Chizuru Takahashi and written by Tetsurō Sayama. FUOPH follows 16 year old Umi Matsuzaki a High School Student in Yokohama Japan during the 1960’s (64 year of Tokyo Olympics). Umi lives in and runs Coquelicot Manor, a boarding house owned by her Grandparents which overlooks the towns Harbor specifically placing the Ports.
After a stunt at school Umi is introduced to Shun Kazama, a classmate and member of the school Journalism Club. Feeling between her and Shun begin to stir up as they fight together to Quartier Latin, the old building which is home to many school clubs. Along side the Shirō Mizunuma, the school’s student government president.
My first impression of the film was: strong female lead. Boy meets girl, boy and girl get close, normal Studio Ghibli scenario. And Umi was just that, Young, independent and ambitious. Characteristic that are held about most Studio Ghibli heroines. She attended school while simultaneously running the boarding house, taking care of her siblings and Coquelicot Manor other occupants. She meets Shun and things move in the direction as one would expect.
But oddly enough, I got the vibe that they might be siblings while Umi gave shun a tour around the manor. And when it turned out to be a legit possibility -on screen. I was flabbergasted. Her grandmother made a point of wishing she would find someone special. And when, she finally finds someones to care for, it turns out he might just be her brother. Like this kid, can’t ever catch a break. I felt so bad for her. Thank goodness they weren’t.
Another thing that really sat with me was how they nailed in the idea of proactively developing Japan in lue of the coming Olympics in Tokyo and end of the Korean War. Everyone and everything behind Umi her classmates, seemed to focused on that prospect of change. The excitement literally sweep across every surface. You come to realize that past was not really lost but carried in the hearts of the youth. Seen through their fighting for the Quartier Latin. Too me, that was so important to see. It was a remainder for me to be more aware.
Over all, this was a great movie to watch.
So what were your thoughts on From Up on Poppy Hill ?